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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Heiko A. von der Gracht and Inga-Lena Darkow

There is consensus among experts that the design of future supply chains will have to focus more strongly on environmental concerns. Sustainability will play a major role…

Abstract

Purpose

There is consensus among experts that the design of future supply chains will have to focus more strongly on environmental concerns. Sustainability will play a major role within the business and has an impact especially on the distant future. Thus, supply chain executives are challenged in designing sustainable supply chains for the future. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop expert-based scenarios, which describe how future supply chains could evolve by 2030. The authors focus on the transportation and logistics industry’s perspective to provide an industry-internal view. The data collection is based on an internet-based Delphi survey. Overall, 48 top executives from 20 countries, representing academic, governmental, and industrial perspectives, participated in the survey.

Findings

The authors operationalized the research question into five concrete sub-topics relevant for investigation: energy and emissions, consumer behaviour, future transport modes, design of future supply chains, and innovation. The authors derive five Delphi-based scenarios defined by clusters of their impact and expected probability: measurement and control of CO2-emissions; integrated low energy logistics systems; business-as-usual logistics; no-frills logistics and alternative fuels. Each cluster contributes differently to supply chain strategy.

Originality/value

The authors address the major issues and challenges experts expect regarding future supply chains in an energy-constrained, low-carbon world. Five scenario clusters evolved for supply chain strategy development. Finally, the authors make recommendations towards strategic planning in the transportation and logistics industry.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Inga-Lena Darkow, Bernadette Foerster and Heiko A. von der Gracht

This study aims to examine the management of food supply chains in complex and volatile business environments, where the sustainability requirements of customers and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the management of food supply chains in complex and volatile business environments, where the sustainability requirements of customers and legislation are increasing. This challenging situation gives rise to the question as to how a logistics company can achieve and sustain competitive advantage through environmentally-oriented sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical study gathers insights on emerging practices in European food service supply chains from two parallel Delphi surveys conducted with 145 industry experts from 27 countries. The long-term industry expectations of a leading provider in food service logistics are compared with an industry-wide external panel. The questions were designed to understand how managers perceive the emerging domain of sustainability in supply chains.

Findings

Environmentally oriented sustainability will remain a key driver of success in the field. However, after applying the dominant logic concept for analyzing results, it becomes apparent that managers have to continuously challenge internal existing expectations to translate an emerging domain into strategy. We show how the senior management team under investigation was challenged in its dominant logic and how it tried to overcome this situation during strategy development.

Originality/value

The study shows how managers perceive and cope with the emerging domain of environmentally oriented sustainability, how they translate it into strategy, and utilize resources for creating customer value. The research supports managers in adapting to new competitive environments. Furthermore, the study contributes by visualizing the dominant logic of a firm and the approach of top management for adjustment.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Heiko A. von der Gracht and Inga-Lena Darkow

The aim is to present research results on global logistics scenarios 2025 with focus on the future contribution the logistics industry can make to the triple bottom line

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to present research results on global logistics scenarios 2025 with focus on the future contribution the logistics industry can make to the triple bottom line – people, planet and profit.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was conducted within the scope of an interdisciplinary foresight conference, where a group of 216 renowned persons from 16 countries in business, academia and politics discussed policies and strategies for the future role of logistics as an enabler and driver of global wealth. Attendants were asked to share their visions of the future via a real-time Delphi study. The results were further discussed in futures workshops according to World Café methodology for group dialog.

Findings

Based on extensive desk research of scenario studies, expert workshops, and creative sessions, the authors developed 20 key Delphi projections for global logistics in 2025. Experts were asked to rate the projection's probability, impact, and desirability as well as to provide reasons for all answers via the Delphi online-portal. Key topics of the Delphi-based scenarios include global health care supply chains, resource logistics (urban mining), water transportation, energy supply, and education. Moreover, the authors analysed discontinuities in global logistics, such as pandemics, conflicts, and resource crises.

Originality/value

The increasing impact of logistics on a nation's and company's success underlines the importance of future-oriented and sustainable planning in this field. With this research endeavor, the authors provide insights in action needed to be taken by industry, politics and academia in order to leverage the full potentials of logistics and support the economic development of the world.

Details

Foresight, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Bernadette Förster, Jonas Keller, Heiko A. von der Gracht and Inga-Lena Darkow

Consumer goods supply chains (SCs) are characterized by continuously changing customer trends. Early detection of these trends is crucial for deriving successful long-term…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumer goods supply chains (SCs) are characterized by continuously changing customer trends. Early detection of these trends is crucial for deriving successful long-term SC strategies. The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic process to support decision makers in assessing future-relevant issues and developing strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to contribute to the quality of long-term decision making for SC strategy, we combine strategic issue management (SIM) and corporate foresight methodology. The authors develop a procedure that integrates the Delphi technique and SIM to empirically demonstrate how “Delphi-based SIM” can support SC strategy development.

Findings

The paper demonstrates how to craft a strategy for consumer goods SCs supported by Delphi-based SIM. The authors are able to include and evaluate uncertain and ambivalent future developments. Pertinent strategic issues for the consumer goods SC include: consumer demographics, automated ordering, city supply, and concept stores. For the reference company, five different strategic paths were created and evaluated.

Practical implications

It is challenging for companies to be well prepared for dynamic business environments and to successfully establish a robust SC strategy. The authors develop a systematic Delphi-based SIM for detecting and evaluating signals and integrating them into SC strategy development.

Originality/value

To date, a structured approach to integrate uncertain and ambivalent issues into SC strategy development is missing. With SIM and corporate foresight, the authors provide novel methods for strategy development in the consumer goods SC.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Jose Luis Cordeiro

Abstract

Details

Foresight, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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